It appears Facebook is still working on aspects of Facebook Local (which hasn’t really hit the news much yet), which is in the process of being rolled out along with Facebook Nearby, a good article on Nearby here: http://socialfresh.com/5-ways-businesses-can-leverage-the-power-of-mobile-marketing/ .
An aspect of Local that has appeared, (I am assuming last night, at least for me) is the appearance of suggested pages to like, under a page you may go to that you have not previously liked.
I came across this, this morning, because someone has sent me an invite to like their new page. After I liked the page, other suggested pages came up below as suggestions to like as well.
What this means for Bed and Breakfasts?
The Good? Your inn might show up on a local competitor’s page.
The Bad? Vice versa, almost all the inns I unliked and then liked again show competitors pages in the suggested page results.
The Pretty Good? It will not show up to people already fans of your page.
I played around with this, this morning and liked and unliked several hundred pages, of those about 150 B&B ones.
Findings relevant to B&Bs:
Some of the suggestions are influenced by friends who like a page.
But if you don’t have any friends that do like a page, it “just” gives you local pages (usually).
Results are influenced by friends, I logged into a friend’s account and her suggested pages were slightly different than mine, so just liking and unliking your own page will not let you know exactly what everyone else is seeing.
After more messing around with what influences a page, I found that results are a combination of friend likes and the category you have your page under.
For a B&B if you have your category under “Local Business” and “Hotel” it’s going to bring up “related” results, i.e. other inns and related hospitality. (take a look at the very first screen shot)
If you change the category to “Companies and Organizations” and “Travel and Leisure” (for example) I have not tried all the combinations yet, but it makes a huge difference in results). This is what you get.
Suggestions based on a “general” local search with some influence by friend likes.
Since this is important to address for B&Bs, as obviously you don’t want your competition showing up in results. Change your category tags.
The other way around this would be to reinstitute like-gating pages. (I was never a fan of the pages where you had to “like” the page to see additional information) but redirect pages can be of use if you advertise them properly, in this case someone coming to a link you suggest, sees a like option but will not see other suggested pages when they do like it.
So instead of https://www.facebook.com/forfengdesigns
You would redirect them to a subpage (hosted by an app) like https://www.facebook.com/forfengdesigns/app_102068836552678
I would suggest changing the page categories as a first option, and doing a page redirect as a secondary one. I expect there to be further changes to this feature in the near future.
A quick addition as I continue to mess with the feature, very rural B&Bs need to be less concerned with this then by B&Bs in a more populated area. I have not figured out the radius exactly of local suggestions but it seems to be under 10 miles.